In cosmic connectivity news, a hotspot of powerful, ultrahigh-energy particles may help scientists answer a century-old question: can we get a decent wi-fi signal in Ursa Major?
Gordon Thomson, of the University of Utah, worked with a team of scientists to capture 72 cosmic rays over a period of five years. The signals were captured by the Telescope Array cosmic ray observatory, an isolated pavillion with a solar panel on the roof next to a telephone pole (above). (Disclaimer: Based on the lack of reference points, this might just be an uncomfortable lounge chair.)
Thomson is the co-principle investigator for the Telescope Array observatory. “Our main principle is ‘No findings, no grant money’. Our co-principle is ‘Don’t be too specific.’ That’s where I come in. I make sure that our findings are vague enough that they can’t be contradicted.”
Asked to describe his findings, Thomson said, “All we see is a blob in the sky, and inside this blob there is all sorts of stuff — various types of objects.” He added, “Now we know where to look,” referring to the blob of stuff and objects. Continue reading